Book Editions and Licensing: A Matter of Regional Profit Centers

24 Festive Tasks: Door 2 – Guy Fawkes Night, Task 1:

Start a (publishing) revolution! What would you change / reform / get rid of in the book world?

One thing that is increasingly getting on my nerves are regionally restricted licenses, particularly when it comes to audiobooks (and movie / DVD formats). Surely in this day and age it should be possible to make all editions of a book (or movie) available to everyone in the world … and at the same time? (Particularly as it’s possible, at least with DVDs, to buy movies in a format other than that where one is living, anyway?) It took a minor eternity to harmonize worldwide movie release dates — I well remember the days when Europeans had to wait weeks or even months after their American release for movies to make it over here –, but even that practice, which had been defended on the basis of all sorts of excuses, eventually disappeared. In light of that, the profit-driven carving up of the world into distinct licensing profit centers is downright anachronistic.


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